At a second community meeting in Bahama Village Monday night, Key West police announced some encouraging news stemming from a recent concentrated effort targeting drug-related crime there.
Since early February, when the Bahama Village Community Policing Initiative began, arrests there more than doubled over January’s, including 25 drug arrests, said Key West City Commissioner Carmen Turner, who convened the meeting. Police in the area also served three arrest warrants, made one grand theft arrest and another for DUI and a burglar was arrested. They frequently inspected the area between Baptist Lane and Catherine Street, a trouble spot, checked identifications of suspicious persons and made 12 other arrests.
Chief Bill Fortune added that the initiative is the beginning of a community-based grass roots effort working with police. Turner introduced the four officers assigned exclusively to patrol Bahama Village, one of whom, Lee Lovette, grew up there. Police handed out a list of telephone numbers to help residents report crime.
Lt. Frank Sauer, commander of the Bureau of Community Affairs, introduced crime prevention officers Frank Lalama and Kurt Stephens and encouraged residents to take advantage of the free residential security surveys and Neighborhood Crime Watch organization they offer.
Sauer also outlined a special workshop called “Community Engagement: Mobilizing Our Community Against Crime,” which begins on Friday evening and continues through Saturday afternoon. He said the community engagement course can help the community develop a collaborative, proactive approach to addressing the issues of crime and the quality of life.
After the formalities, officers and residents mixed informally, exchanging ideas and information.
The next meeting will be announced soon. For more information, call Lt. Frank Sauer at 809-1011.